The Age

[The Age] Catalogue review: Frank, fearless and funny dance portraits

12/03/2015 Reviewed by Chloe Smethurst

– In Catalogue, the cumulative power of a series of portraits becomes transformative. Still images, revelatory dances and spoken words remind us of our diversity and our shared humanity.

Frank, fearless and funny, the portraits reveal talents and flaws, beauty and banality. Among the soul-baring text, muscle flexing and smack-down wrestling, showmanship undergoes a reality slip, as some of the actors begin to take on personas that are not their own.

Performed in open-fronted cubes, stacked like an apartment building, the performance is intensified by Kate Sulan and Ingrid Voorendt’s incisive direction. Frequent changes of texture and timing, from dance party romp to documentary-like gravity, keep the show fresh throughout the 75 minutes.

The Rawcus ensemble, who devise and perform the work, are inclusive of all abilities. They explore our need for individuality, and our simultaneous need to be loved, to fit in, as they cinematically appear and disappear in their boxes. Designed by Emily Barrie and wonderfully lit by Richard Vabre, each cube is fitted with headphones and a microphone, allowing for interesting combinations of monologues, conversations and action, sometimes all at once.

‘She is … cheeky!’ growls one performer, as she swivels her hips. One couple share a long hug, while another hold hands. The music cuts away to reveal terrible karaoke singing, delivered with gusto.

The final moment is surprising, as the personalities we have come to know are suddenly replaced by an entirely new set of people. Are we unique, or just another face in the crowd?
Arts House, Meat Market
Until March 14

Original Source: The Age